Rob Woodford ~ Burgessville, Ontario

My name is Rob Woodford, I am a sinner saved by the matchless grace of God.

A sinner, saved by grace? Yes, that’s right! A righteous God loved me enough to send His only son to die so I could be pardoned from all my sin and guilt.

            I was born into this world on November 9, 1979, into a home where the Bible was believed and read daily. Raised under the influence of Christian parents, there was nothing I didn’t know or understand about being saved. Yet, I still lacked the personal experience of a time in my life when I was saved. I attended Sunday school and gospel meetings regularly with my family. I memorized verses for Sunday school and also at home.

From the earliest age I knew how to be saved, yet stubbornly refused to accept this free gift of God’s love. Looking back now I can’t figure out why I waited so long. There were many times that I was troubled about my sin and need of salvation, but I always put it off. Eventually all of my family was saved and I was still in my sins. Often I would think that if the Lord were to come they would all be taken and I would be left behind.

In January of 1998, Bill Seale and Jim Bergsma began a series of gospel meetings in Burgessville, which lasted for 11 weeks. I attended most of those meetings and many times I felt convicted about my sin and my need to be saved. Still I didn’t take God at His Word. I imagine that by the end of the meetings they were quite frustrated with my uncaring attitude.

After the meetings had ended Jim Bergsma and John Kember began to visit me on a regular basis. At first I felt they were hounding me. Soon I became thankful for their obvious concern for my eternal well-being.

We often got together at a local pizza place. On February 3, 1999, while sitting there with Jim, I finally came to terms with my need of Christ. That day Jim simply opened his Bible to John 3, gave it to me and leaned back in his chair. He and John had run out of things to say.

I began to read through verses that I had memorized at a young age: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17). Just then I realized that all of Jesus’ suffering on the cross was for me. All I had to do was trust what His word said and believe in Him. Sitting right there I did just that. At that moment I knew I was saved.

I looked up at Jim and asked, “That’s all there is to it?”

He replied, “That’s all I’ve got.” My sins are forgiven and my eternal destiny is secure. There were no bright lights or fuzzy feelings, just the assurance that Jesus is mine.

My assurance: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).

Any regrets? Absolutely! I only wish I had gotten salvation sooner.